Wednesday, 27 December 2006
It's this sort of aggressive spin that makes M$ such a perennially 80's money-grabbing company.
Monday, 11 December 2006
Yet, clearly there is a way to make money("Google's copyright fix", Business 2.0) out of supposed piracy. By essentially using your audience to market for you, you can cut the promotions costs and get a much clearer view of whether your newest creative venture will be a success, or, if it's looking bad, what your audience doesn't like about it. It means sacrificing control (attempting to determine taste) for faster reactivity to taste.
The RIAA's inability to adapt to this new business model can only be a reflection of the sham of modern music. Sure, there's creativity, but as soon as a genuinely good idea comes along, it is bludgeoned into blandness or marketed to death through repetition or copycat bands/songs. Art is about performance, and artists should be paid for performances, and should gain credit for their performances, not for some mass promotion machine.
Wednesday, 6 December 2006
"In the mid-1990s, big content providers were complaining that they couldn't distribute their work digitally if clever crackers were free to break Hollywood's digital rights management, or DRM, schemes at will. The DMCA was enacted to promote the digital distribution of content by making it illegal to circumvent DRM controls placed on music, movies and games. Since then, companies have repeatedly tried using the DMCA to quash unwanted behavior that has nothing to do with copyright infringement."
It seems that a new ruling has now preventing them from exploiting a protective law for their own gains.
Tuesday, 28 November 2006
I was also reading about HD TVs this week: apparently most HD TVs these days are interlaced, rather than progressive scan - that's what the 'i' is in 1080i (as opposed to 1080p). Again, it reminded me of the old debates about CRT monitors and refresh rates: people would go for higher refresh rates, without realising that the monitor switched to interlaced at higher rates.
So buyer of pixels beware.
Thursday, 9 November 2006
Tuesday, 7 November 2006
Monday, 30 October 2006
Then there's the economic impact: in this article the headline number is 1/2 million South Africans banking by mobile phone, in preference to (and mostly in absence of) cash or physical banks.
Thursday, 26 October 2006
Their assumption is that Apple are a software company, whereas most pundits assume the opposite: they are a hardware company, with the OS being a loss-leading differentiator. I prefer to think of them as more of a Nike: a brand representing a philosophy. The key for such a company is to set the tone of your market, whatever that may be, to maximise customer loyalty. Loyalists buy you because you're the best, and the 'cool factor' wows the initiates. Who assembles Apple computers? Who cares? Only Apple need to care because their brand assures the customer that they will receive a high quality purchasing experience. If Apple felt they could get a better production deal from Dell, I'm sure they'd happily bring them on board as long as it didn't diminish their brand.
To use a car analogy: Ford owns Jaguar, but Jaguars are not Fords, and never should be. [Ford tried that with the early X-type and it flopped].
Tuesday, 26 September 2006
According to them the record companies
...have engaged in these unfair business practices for the specific purpose of eliminating sources of decentralized peer-to-peer file sharing and acquiring a monopoly over digital distribution of commercially valuable copyrighted music and movie content.
Sock it to 'em boys!
Thursday, 14 September 2006
There has been speculation about Apple producing an iPhone for years, ever since somebody noticed that www.iphone.com used to point to a page at Apple. There have been endless mock-ups, and every Apple event for the past 2 years has featured iPhone speculation in the pre-hype. This is the best evidence I've seen yet, although I question why they'd release it at such an (non-)event, and not with the new iPods & iTunes announcements this week.
Wednesday, 6 September 2006
Friday, 1 September 2006
Friday, 11 August 2006
Thursday, 10 August 2006
Wednesday, 9 August 2006
I also liked his final comment:-
"And besides, it’s a testament to Apple that they routinely produce products that are worth speculating about. When I get a new Microsoft product in the mail it’s often like that moment when you’ve got both feet on the brakes but you know that the car can’t possibly stop in time. You don’t know what’s going to happen. You just hope it won’t hurt too much."
Monday, 7 August 2006
The more I think about this (see last post), the more I think Apple have the right angle: they're putting the 'personal' back into personal computing. They're driving home the idea of their boxes being specialist media manipulators. As media becomes ever more digital, especially at the personal level, these tools increasingly become as indispensable as the gadgets they supplement - the glue between your camera, your music collection, your video and whatever network you want to communicate over.
What's especially poignant is that these feature all require rock solid hardware at the client end, unlike office applications that can be (and are increasingly) run over a network from a central server (eg. webmail).
Sunday, 6 August 2006
Which leads me to conclude that the next mainstream OS will not be desktop-based. It will be hosted by central servers. Consumers' security concerns can be alleviated by tight integration with keyfobs, and possibly a light, encrypted local instance of the OS running on linux (maybe even on the keyfob).
The enterprise OS is a different story: the winner there will not necessarily be the most technologically advanced, but just the one who wins the skillset wars.
Where are the tech dev skills? Somebody give me a Google Earth overlay of tech dev skills: geography and skill type. That will lead to the next paradigm.
Thursday, 3 August 2006
Wednesday, 2 August 2006
Monday, 31 July 2006
Thursday, 20 July 2006
Wednesday, 19 July 2006
Thursday, 29 June 2006
The industrial revolution isn't remembered for its machines, but for the way it shaped society: migration from countryside to cities, merchants/industrialists superceding aristocracy in wealth, the birth of the modern corporation. This article provides a hint of how the early days of the web many be remembered in years to come.
Friday, 23 June 2006
20 terabytes of converged voice and data traffic - or enough to fill 5,120 iPod Nanos at a rate of 170 per dayI wonder if that will become a standard measure as these sort of events evolve? "That was an 8,000 iPod event, that was!"
Wednesday, 21 June 2006
Sunday, 18 June 2006
All it needs to annihilate the competition is WiFi.
Icing on the cake? All of this costs a mere £125 - haven't you got one yet?
Tuesday, 13 June 2006
In the enterprise market the BlackBerry still has a solid and faithful following but in the company that I am responsible for I have already replaced BlackBerry with Pocket PC and the reason for that comes down to the exchange server that I run, my Pocket PCs, smartphones and PalmOne Treos can synchronize with exchange directly, they don't need the costly BlackBerry Enterprise Server to help them out. By choosing Pocket PC over BlackBerry I'm just saving money, improving reliability, adding features and cutting out another step that I must provide and support, it's as simple as that.
If you're a BlackBerry die hard you'll like this new model but if you're a pragmatist I think you might conclude that the rest of the world has overtaken the BlackBerry. RIM, we thank you for the Push email; we’ll always remember you for that."
Tuesday, 6 June 2006
Begging the corporate question: what's an OS? That's so 20th C, man. Soon it will only be multimedia that requires an OS (ie. heavy processor/network stuff), and which OS would you choose for that? (Hint: check out these Final Cut Express demos)
Here's the question, though: how does this web app directly make revenue?
Google ads on the page? That's fine for a search results page, but for a productivity page? Imagine if Microsoft did banner ads in Office. Putting aside the outrage from license paying customers, I suspect it might bug your typical office drone too. So, what's the alternative? Charging for it? Come on, this is Google. They're the nice guys who give great stuff away for free, and you can even earn money from them. They can't charge us, or we'd boycott them, like the spoilt websurfers we are. So... maybe there's no direct revenue. Maybe it will all be funded from search page ad revenue. It certainly seems to be how Google Calendar is configured. Not sure how that will fly with investors. It certainly doesn't make much business sense: you want to keep the revenue as close to the costs in a diverse portfolio like Google's. So, what's the plan guys?
Monday, 22 May 2006
Common sense says you're barmy. But then common sense is actually not that common, really, is it?
Wednesday, 10 May 2006
"Heard about these nasty viruses? Don't worry, guv, we'll protect you...for an unlimited subscription fee, naturally."
I wouldn't be too surprised to find that these unscrupulous vendors are writing these viruses, especially the ones which "aren't in the wild yet".
Only now McAfee have been caught short trying to tout to Apple users who tend to be more discerning than their PC brethren and who also know when the statistics don't add up. I'm sure it won't be long before Apple's new-found popularity with PC users will mean that their products finally succumb to the pandora's box that is the computer virus -- let's just hope that Apple can shoe-horn AV into OS X (as Microsoft is rumoured to be doing with Vista) before vendors such as McAfee and Norton start circling and demanding their pounds of flesh.
Tuesday, 2 May 2006
Having visited half a dozen of these stores myself, I can vouch that it's definitely more than merely displaying goods & selling them. They all seem to have an atmosphere more like a very sophisticated hobbyists club. I've always wondered, though, whether they were bearing fruit for Apple, or whether they were expensive loos-leaders/follies. The stats in the article are impressive, although the analyst's (singular) prediction is interesting...
Monday, 1 May 2006
There was an earlier tool by a guy called Shadowmite that did a reasonable job, but Palm clamped down on it after they received too many support calls from people who tried & failed to use that tool. Now there's a new ROM Tool that promises to be more user-friendly and more repairable.
Wednesday, 26 April 2006
I'd seen a 3rd party tool for using all that Gmail space as online disk space a while back. Trouble was, it needed to be installed on the client and there are separate vendors for the mac and PC versions. Then some bright spark made Gmail Space - an add-on for Firefox that allows you to use spare Gmail space as file space. Nice!
Update: so you have to install the Firefox extension on each machine, right? Not with Firefox Portable.
Monday, 17 April 2006
Wednesday, 5 April 2006
Monday, 3 April 2006
Friday, 31 March 2006
Thursday, 30 March 2006
Thursday, 23 March 2006
Thursday, 16 March 2006
Video podcast-tastic, eh?
Wednesday, 15 March 2006
This article (extremetech.com) puts an interesting angle on the OS competition, although I'm not sure if Dell have the clout, or the legal leeway to be able to offer other competing OSes. I hope they do, though, if only to sharpen Microsoft up a bit.
Friday, 10 March 2006
Until now. I spotted a simple, plain ad for Pageflakes on Digg, and was intrigued enough by the beautifully simple interface and lack of bandwidth-sucking ads to try it. Verrry nice, and with the decent array of widgets, lots of potential. But while those widgets were neat, they weren't, again, productive. A news reader (got one), an addressbook (got several), a clock (??) etc. So, demo stuff, essentially.
Then today I spot a new widget: Zoho Writer - the online word processor. Yet another WYSIWYG 'inline' text editor? Well, yes. And much, much more. Going to the homepage, I tried the demo user. Import your Word docs, export Word, PDF, HTML, to your blog, to email friends (as link or shared doc that they can edit too). Save docs online, save templates online. And all integrated into Pageflakes, making the latter, with my iCal widget and my Gmail widget, start to look like a handy, access-anywhere desktop.
Google, buy these. NOW.
Update (3rd April): It appears Google have already bought one!
Thursday, 9 March 2006
Wednesday, 8 March 2006
I wonder how long before they're touting their "new discovery" to the rest of the world..!
Sunday, 5 March 2006
Seiko, the inventors, will initally launch a watch with the technology, but soon it will extend to book readers (backed by such authors as Dan Brown) and even bill boards and price tags in supermarkets (Tesco has plans to use it). Imagine passing down an isle with your (RFID'd) Clubcard in your pocket and watching the prices change just for you!
Once colour is introduced, it's only a matter of time before all printed material is superceded by this technology, with editions wirelessly downloaded and pages changed at the touch of a button.
Wednesday, 22 February 2006
Let's face it, these things happen to Windows at least a couple of times a week, and that's not big news. Nor are these issues 'exploits' - merely vulnerabilities, with published remedies. I still don't have to fear malicious VB script files in my email, like Windows users. Nor do I have to worry about dubious pop-ups in my browser, like Windows users. Even if I did manage to foolishly download a dodgy file, the chances are it would be a .exe file, which OSX can't run.
So, Mac vulnerabilities a big deal? In themselves, no. In the fact that macs are vulnerable? No - of course they are. In the fact that security people deem them worthy of examination? Yes, it finally means that people are taking them seriously.
Friday, 17 February 2006
Need to crack a company's network? Just hand out free CDs to every employee and, chances are, you will strike gold and someone will load your code.
And to think that most corporates invest huge amounts of time and money trying to implement computer security...
Friday, 3 February 2006
One revealing quote from the article (Forbes, not Economist):
"Google was headed for a fall, if only because, damn it, we’re all so jealous. It went public at $85 in August 2004. At over $400 lately, it has created four billionaires, and according to the company, one in five of its employees are now multimillionaires. (The investor relations chief, who has got to be younger than I am, is said to have recently retired.) Sergey Brin and Larry Page, each now barely into their 30s, founded Google in 1999 after landing a $100,000 check at lunch from Sun Microsystems (nasdaq: SUNW - news - people ) co-founder Andrew Bechtolsheim. Now Brin and Page are worth $16 billion apiece. Isn’t that reason enough to hate them? "
I think this article shows the right sense of skepticism and hope and I especially like the reference to free mesh networks - information freedom at very little cost just by taking up the slack that the telcos don't worry about.
The key to all of this is to find the method that will cause the least pain for the greatest gain; something that the sub-$100 laptop is trying to publicly prove can be accomplished.
Tuesday, 31 January 2006
We need, like, a biiig bucket, man. And it's gotta be in ice. So, we, like, dig a huge hole, maybe 1km wide by 2.5km deep, in, like, the south pole. Yeah! Then we put some really sensitive sensors in there, and wait for... uhm, I dunno, like, maybe a decade or two?
Dude, I hope it works, otherwise that's an awfully big and cold money pit...